Digital media such as social networks and video games have become increasingly important in the lives of children and youth. Even when young people are consuming other media, such as TV, music and movies, they’re likely to be doing it through the internet. As well, nearly all the media they consume, from TV shows to toys, have web pages, virtual worlds, video games or other digital spinoffs associated with them.

It’s the summertime and if you have older kids and teens, you may be balancing a variety of schedules. Older kids make plans with friends by themselves, have jobs (and usually require some parental driving), stay up later than little ones do, and may be asleep long after your first cup of coffee or work email is done.  

Level: Grade K to 3

About the author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 10-15 minutes per activity

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.

Overview

Level: Grade K to 3

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts.

Duration: 10-15 minutes per activity

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.

Overview

As your kids grow older, their gift requests may start to look a lot different than when they were younger. While they once circled all the toys in the holiday catalogues that arrived at the door, now they are sending parents text messages or Google Docs with links to their wish list items.

Matthew JohnsonMeet Sasha. At age 8, she's a real social butterfly, both online and off, and is very concerned with how the world sees her: she spends a lot of time making sure she looks good in photos online but doesn't always think twice about who might see them. Violet is Sasha's older sister and her polar opposite: she's a hardcore gamer, and just as tough as her Level 65 Barbarian. Though she despairs of her sister sometimes, she's also fiercely protective of her and will unleash her considerable wrath on anyone she thinks is picking on Sasha.

Cyber Choices is an interactive game designed to help students in grades 3 to 5 develop the skills and habits they need to make safe and responsible choices online. Cyber Choices lets students explore four different stories that cover key issues such as making good choices about their own and others’ personal information, dealing with cyberbullying (as both a target and a witness) and managing online conflict. 

We’ve been using video games to bond with our kids for a while now. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?